Writing Wednesdays is a series on writing tips and tricks that are published on Wednesdays. Not necessarily every Wednesday. But Wednesdays.
(Bill Bernach’s) advice was to put a little of yourself into your copy. He believed a small admission gained a large acceptance.”
~ Paul Burke
This. One of my favourite writing tips, ever. It’s something I believe in 100%.
I think about some of the writers I admire and realise that injecting personality into their writings is one big reason why I like them so much. Unique writing style is a good way to show off personality. James Altucher’s blog posts have a poetic flair: short and long sentences, a touch of humour, vivid imagery, etc. His writing sings. You can tell that the dude reads deeply from a wide pool of genres (in fact, he does). Alex Liang, over at the humourously named Limpeh is FT blog, does things differently. Assertive. Blunt. Swear words here and there. It’s like if I meet these guys, I kind of know what they’d be like in person, having read their writings.
Developing your own writing style is not easy. You’ll need to spend a long time experimenting and honing. Heck, I’m still working on mine. So here’s another way to infuse writing with personality: draw upon a deep well of personal experiences. James and Alex are highly accomplished in a wide variety of areas. James is a writer, serial entrepreneur, former hedge fund manager, and web programmer. Alex is a marketing guy who works in corporate finance, who has also acted and did competitive gymnastics. Being able to tap into a variety of seemingly unrelated experiences allow these guys to come up with their own unique perspectives.
Most important, and the key to the “a small admission gained a large acceptance” part, is this: be authentic. Authentically you.
This is probably the hardest. As someone who works in marketing, too often I see people who just talk about what makes them/the company/the product great. Or, they embellish. Gloss over the bad stuff. Even if they talk about the bad stuff, they don’t go into it deeply as they prefer to focus on success. James, Alex, and all the other folks who are authentic speak openly about their challenges, failures, and flaws. When they do, they also tell you how they overcome these screw ups and what you can learn from them. To err is human. That’s why so many people appreciate and embrace authenticity.
As for me: I just aim to write in a conversational and genuine way. Don’t worry too much on being funny or witty. Also, be humble and learn as much as I can from everyone around me.
Honestly, I don’t know how to be anyone other than myself.
Image source: Lum3n.com @ Pexels